Experience, Engage, Work in the Humanities  

Our Mission

The challenges of the 21st century demand humanistic thought. Leaders and citizens must integrate information from diverse fields to forge creative solutions in collaboration with others, and implement them with moral concern for the lives they affect. Accordingly, 21st-century liberal arts education must be centered on: interdisciplinarity, fostering flexible understanding that bridges disciplines; collaboration, developing skills of listening and communication that enable creative cooperation; and community, cultivating empathy and ethical sensitivity for others. With these as our core principles, the Humanities Initiative at F&M promotes humanistic inquiry as the core of liberal arts education for the 21st century, via initiatives that foster humanistic thought and demonstrate the relevance of the humanities throughout students’ undergraduate experience and faculty members’ intellectual lives. 

The Humanities Initiative Directors & Student Advisory Board

The Humanities Initiative at F&M welcomes and encourages student participation.  The Student Advisory Board provides a vehicle for  interested F&M students to directly engage in leadership of Humanities-related activities at F&M, as well as to provide the student voice and perspective for the Humanities Initiative Co-Directors.  More information about the board is available here.   

Humanities Initiative Co - Directors (2019)

Peter Jaros, Associate Professor of English - peter.jaros@fandm.edu

Jon Stone, Associate Professor of Russian and Russian Studies - jon.stone@fandm.edu

Humanities Initiative Student Advisors (2019)

Esmeralda Rodriguez ('19), Moises Soto-Brito ('21 ), Rachel Strompf ('21)

 

 

 

We recognize that in whatever path of life students choose, the ability to understand differing values, identify conflicts in thinking and reasoning, and find answers to complex questions is essential for cultivating qualities of innovation and leadership.

That's why we emphasize study in intimate classes, with the student-to-faculty ratio in some humanities majors, such as philosophy, as small as 5:1. And we also offer opportunities for field study and research that students might usually expect to pursue in the sciences or other fields. Students at F&M experience and engage with the questions that students elsewhere might only read about.

This is part of the distinctiveness  in our approach to the humanities. Study at F&M spans the full range of study of human culture and the human experience, from classical archaeology to literature, to philosophy and cultural studies, and through languages.

 

Humanities Majors:  Professionally Prepared and Career-Ready

F&M embraces the principle that students who are linguistically, intellectually and culturally equipped to communicate successfully are better prepared to thrive in our multicultural society, both in the United States and around the world.  Recent studies bear this out, showing humanities majors excelling across a variety of academic, career and life skill measures. Use the links below to further explore the many benefits of studying the humanities. 

Humanities Majors Today, Field Leaders Tomorrow!

Prominent leaders with a background in the humanities can be found in every sector of business and industry today.   Explore the links below to see more from a few who credit their career success to their studies in the humanities.   The  National Humanities Alliance website  curates an ever-expanding list with additional names of humanities graduates at the top of their respective fields.

  • Business and Finance

    Business and Finance Image

    “I never had finance or accounting, yet I help run a huge business. I learned communications, research, and critical thinking."  Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer of Coca-Cola, speaking about his undergraduate degrees in German and Economics, and his Master's of Divinity. 

     

  • Government and International Relations

    Government and International Relations Image

    California Governor Jerry Brown,  who holds a B.A. in Classics, notes the value of  studying and understanding the humanities as "...windows on what it is to be human."  

  • Media and Entertainment

    Media and Entertainment Image

    "One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: ‘What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.’ That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing."  -Author J.K. Rowling,  B.A. in Classics and French

  • Philanthropic / Non Profit Sector

    Philanthropic / Non Profit Sector Image

    “Spend the time to ask yourself who you can get who can be better than you. Constantly look for new ideas, new eyes, new perspectives.” Andrea Jung,  President and CEO of Grameen America, former CEO of Avon, B.A. in English Literature.

  • Science, Medicine and Research

    Science, Medicine and Research Image

    "The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin...or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing.  The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity."  - Mae Jemison,  Physician and Astronaut, B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies

  • Technology

    Technology Image

    “Studying philosophy taught me two things. I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings." - Philosophy major Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder of Flickr and Slack Technologies  

     

  • F&M Graduates

    F&M Graduates Image

    • Former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Stan Brand, graduated with a major in English.
    • Actor Treat Williams, of the TV series "Heartland" and "Everwood" majored in Drama, now configured as a major in Theatre.
     

The Humanities in Practice at F&M

Story 9/13/2019

Author Examines Education Reformer, Race in U.S.

The author of the 2007 book, “In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America,” Eddie Glaude Jr. described today’s American democracy as one in turmoil in his remarks at Franklin &...

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Story 9/5/2019

Letter From an F&M Student Abroad: My Summer in Wales

This summer, having finished her first year at Franklin & Marshall College, sophomore Lydia Shaw studied as a Fulbright Summer Participant in the United Kingdom. The following is Shaw’s letter about...

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Story 8/26/2019

F&M to Celebrate its ‘Game-Changing’ History, Future

Over the course of more than 230 years, Franklin & Marshall College has embraced events that have created seismic shifts in the culture of the institution. 

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Story 8/22/2019

F&M Launches Partnership with Japanese University

A Franklin & Marshall College astronomy professor and his students visited a Japanese university this summer to present talks on their pulsar research and train astronomy students to remotely operate...

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Story 8/13/2019

Nationally acclaimed poet Patricia Smith selects Jessica...

 The Department of English congratulates Visiting Assistant Professor Jessica Guzman on her selection as the winner of the 2019 Gatewood Prize.

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Story 7/31/2019

Off-Campus Study: Paige Alexander '20

Art History and Chinese major spends an academic year in Beijing, China

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September 15
event 9/15/2019

Game Changers: Women in Film (The Last Animals)

Weis College House Great Room

  The Last Animals is a story about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible...

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September 17
event 9/17/2019

Rebecca Romney: The Book That Ruined Her: Mary...

Writers House Reading Room

Rebecca Romney is a rare book dealer based in the Washington DC area. She is the co-founder of Type...

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September 18
event 9/18/2019

Advanced Studies in England

Joseph International Center Forum 101

An information session for the Advanced Studies in England program, located in Bath, England. For...

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September 19
event 9/19/2019

Italian Coffee Hour

Writers House Reading Room

Italian Coffee Hour Conversation, games and Nutella... Everyone's welcome!  

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September 19
event 9/19/2019

Reception-Stitched Stories: Women's Narratives in Regional...

Mall Area

Opening Reception  Stitched Stories:  Women's Narratives in Regional Textiles This exhibition...

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